Brookfield Conservation Commission
November 15, 2021 Zoom Meeting
1. Review Agenda
2. Public Comment – none
3. Approval of Minutes of the October meeting – Moved by Jon J. seconded by Sue Shea – motion approved.
4. Forest Blocks and Habitat Connectors in Brookfield, debrief from information session with Kevin Geiger of Two Rivers-Ottauquechee Regional Planning Commission
Conservation Commissioners expressed interest in working with the Planning Commission on recommendations for the update of the zoning bylaw relative to wildlife and natural resources in Brookfield. It is important for the BCC to have compelling argument, explain the rationale, and how aspects of this work might have effects across the whole bylaw. It was agreed that we would try to submit recommendations to the PC by January or February of 2022.
We then attempted to draw polygons around forest blocks in Brookfield that would help inform a Conservation Zone in town. Currently the Conservation Zone is simply steep slopes and wetlands. Wetlands that are Class 2 are already regulated by the State Wetlands Office, and steep slopes are difficult to map and enforce. So the thought was to identify areas in town where future development was more acceptable because of limits on impacts on wildlife and natural resources, and forest blocks – areas that were more sensitive for wildlife or are habitat corridors, where development would be more limited.
Concern was raised about the extent of the forest blocks in town, and how we could work toward obtaining community support for forest block conservation through zoning. Sue and Kathy were going to research this further and report at the next meeting. Jon B. and Jon J. were going to look into ways to improve mapping of forest blocks and connectors.
5. Update on I-89 wildlife crossing – no update was mentioned.
6. Other business
7. EAB – Jon J. announced that Emerald Ash Borer was found at Allis State Park, probably as a result of firewood being imported.
8. Adjourn – next meeting is December 14, 2021